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Pensions
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:53pm
Thu Jul 24

Chicagoans Push Back Against Walgreens' Potential Tax Inversion (VIDEO)

Tax fairness activists delivered 70,000 petition signatures to a downtown Chicago Walgreens store Thursday, calling on the nation’s largest pharmacy chain to remain a U.S company and pay its "fair share of taxes."

It is rumored that Deerfield-based Walgreen Co. is considering plans to reincorporate itself offshore in Switzerland, a "tax haven," through a maneuver called a corporate tax inversion. Such a move could reportedly cost U.S. taxpayers $4 billion in lost tax revenue over a five-year period. Read more »

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:21pm
Wed Jul 23

Chicago Board Of Ed Approves Budget, Debate Over School Funding Rages On

The Chicago Board of Education unanimously approved the school district's controversial $5.8 billion spending plan for the 2015 fiscal year that cuts the budgets of traditional neighborhood schools and boosts funding for charters. Progress Illinois provides highlights from today's board of ed meeting.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:21pm
Thu Jul 17

Chicagoans Criticize School Funding Cuts At CPS Budget Hearing (VIDEO)

Chicago Public Schools' (CPS) proposed $5.76 billion spending plan for the 2014-2015 academic year slashes $72 million in funding from 504 traditional neighborhood schools but boosts the budgets of privately-run charter and contract schools by 12 percent.

The funding difference, mostly due to declining enrollment projected at traditional CPS schools and increased enrollment at charters, did not sit well with parents, teachers, education activists and Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd), who vented their frustrations at a CPS budget hearing Wednesday evening at Malcolm X College on the city's West Side. Education activists toting signs reading, "BOE has different rules for different schools," also spoke out against neighborhood school budget cuts ahead of the hearing.

"There's a crisis in Chicago Public Schools today," Fioretti told the six CPS officials at the hearing. "CPS closed 50 schools last year, supposedly based upon declining enrollment. At the same time, they opened new charter schools. Despite promises of increased funding for existing schools, CPS cut the budget for neighborhood schools this year, while they increased the budget for charter schools. 

"There is no political will from CPS or the fifth floor of this city," he added. "When we decide that politicians should allow charter schools, contract schools and other schools that take away the resources for political ends only, we are depriving our kids of the necessary education here in this city." Read more »

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
11:19pm
Wed Jul 2

CPS Unveils 2015 Budget Proposal, Uses Property Tax 'Fix' To Fill Deficit

Chicago Public Schools officials released their 2015 budget proposal this holiday week, unveiling the eyebrow-raising plan late Wednesday. 

The budget overview, which states that pensions "continue to be the single largest driver in CPS's structural deficit," details a plan to fill its more than $876 million budget deficit by expanding the length of time in which it collects property taxes — a tactic that can only be used once and essentially dips into funds that would be made available for its 2016 budget.  Read more »

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:37pm
Wed Jun 25

Chicago City Council Roundup: Gun Shops, Phone Taxes & SROs

Progress Illinois provides some highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:25pm
Tue Jun 10

Cook County Employees Hit The Picket Line To Demand 'Fair' Contract (VIDEO)

Dozens of frontline employees at the Cook County Criminal Courts Building in Chicago hit the picket lines during their lunch break Tuesday, demanding that county officials shore up ongoing negotiations and sign a 'fair' contract with their union, AFSCME Council 31.

The protest outside of the criminal courthouse at 26th St. and California Ave. was one of 14 worksite pickets held by Cook County workers today to call for a new contract that includes fair wages and affordable health insurance. Demonstrations also took place at suburban Cook County courthouses as well as the Juvenile Court Building and the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County in Chicago, among other locations.

"We want what everybody else wants. We want fair wages, affordable health care and we want respect on the job," said Steve Ramsey, 35, an investigator with the Office of the Cook County Public Defender. "This administration has failed to come to the table and offer any of that to us." Read more »